Diversifying Merchants For Successful Home Businesses by:Al Terry
Many online successful home businesses use affiliate programs as the main model for making profits and with such little risk involved it is a very popular method for starting a business online. The affiliate has zero advertising costs, no product development issues, no inventory to keep up with and no overhead expenses including salaries, stores, benefits and so on. While many businesses may have their entire life's worth on the line, the affiliate is risking nothing more then time and the costs of hosting a web site.
The one major risk an affiliate may run into is if the affiliate program they are marketing online was to go out of business themselves. For example if a webmaster or marketer spent the last five years building a business around an affiliate program and now has a thousand pages all selling products for that program and the merchant was to "go under" so will the affiliate, at least until they can find a new program that will work for the site. Then the affiliate will have to go and replace all the links and products they are selling and add the new ones before any profits can be coming back into the business. Successful home businesses built around the affiliate method like to try and diversify to avoid this risk.
Diversifying is always wise in any business and really anything at all because it always reduces risks. People diversify their investment portfolios for the same exact reason. The old saying "putting all your eggs in one basket" rings true with online business and especially the affiliate business through a web site. The risks can be drastically reduced by just doing a couple little things before launching a web site business and building it to such a large site as a thousand pages.
Make sure before just joining an affiliate program that it is a rock solid company and a top program to join. Look for other reviews of affiliates using the program and look for traffic results. Look for how long they have been in business. You only want to be involved with the top few affiliate programs for a certain category of the site. Also you want try and have each affiliate program for the category to come from a different back end supplier. By this I mean that affiliate programs are usually created by a third party or creates and manages the program for a company. There are a handful of different companies that supply the "affiliate program" services for businesses. Try and pick a solid program from different back end suppliers, this way if an entire affiliate program service provider goes down there are still other revenue streams coming into the business.
A web site business which is focused only on one affiliate program for their entire site has much more risk involved then the site which has the ten different programs coming from five different third- party suppliers. Successful home businesses understand the importance of drawing revenue from multiple avenues and using affiliate programs to add related products to their site. This technique automatically creates more revenue for the business as well because if visitors are not looking to purchase one product being offered on the page perhaps another product on the page is what they needed or want.
The affiliate who provides multiple merchants and a variety of different but related products or services on their pages reduces risk dramatically while increasing income potential. A few things to look for in an affiliate program include highest quality products, high quality and professional site, deep linking to products (ability to link to any page or product of the site not just the homepage), great payment model for highest conversions, great commission pay out and top affiliate support. Other features that make a great affiliate program include lifetime cookies or commissions and a second tier to the program so anyone who joins from your recommendations means you collect commissions for their sales as well. Do some research and see what others say about the programs and if they meet these requirements. Using the best affiliate programs means building a successful home business that bring in profits.
Things to try and avoid in affiliate programs include any unethical conduct, bad support, late or lack of payments, conduct in spamming practices, problems when joining the program, unfair clauses in the agreement and bad looking unprofessional web site. If the products are not high quality they should be avoided also, an online business needs to create credibility and trust from their visitors and selling bad products just for a commission will hurt a business every time. Repeat customers and word of mouth buzz can only be achieved through providing visitors with great information and high quality products that they love.
The major risk factor of affiliate marketing can be avoided by doing some simple things such as researching the affiliate programs for any red flags. By adding multiple high quality affiliate programs and merchants to a site provides diversify which reduces this risk dramatically. Multiple programs will also increase income for the business by capturing sales that may have been missed by not providing different but related products to visitors on the pages of the site. Successful home businesses use many different merchants and programs providing related products from different third party affiliate program service companies to maximize revenue and minimize risks.
About the author
Al runs a web site that teaches individuals how to start a web site for fun and profits. His lesson plans show exactly how to start the Successful Home Businesses With A Theme Site and with practically no costs involved. Teaches everything from basic start up to a full time income from home with successful home businesses using a web site.